Roger Harden, who was a standout point guard at Kentucky in the 1980s, is the new boys' basketball coach at Williamstown High School.
"I'm just thrilled about being back in the game, and being back in the gym every day," Harden said. "In my heart, I've always wanted to coach."
Harden's wife, Gina, is from Williamstown, which is in Grant County, so it will be a homecoming for her.
Williamstown Athletics Director Tommy West said Harden's résumé "jumped off the page, with all that he's done. This is a big hire, a big deal, to get somebody of his stature, especially at a small school like ours."
Harden played high school ball at Valparaiso, Ind., where he was a McDonald's All-American and Indiana's Mr. Basketball in 1982.
He was a three-year starter at point guard at UK and set a single-season school assist record as a senior in 1985-86.
Harden was a UK assistant under Eddie Sutton in the late 1980s. He coached Indiana AAU teams in the 1990s.
Harden said in recent years he has done some youth and middle school AAU coaching and "countless individual instruction" with young players.
Harden succeeds Steve Sigmon as Demons coach. Sigmon stepped down because of health reasons.
Harden met with the Williamstown players on Monday and "was very impressed with their enthusiasm."
The Demons, who play in the 8th Region, haven't had a winning season since 2004-05, so Harden realizes the challenges ahead.
"It's going to be a building process, for sure," he said. "They've never had a strength or conditioning program, so we're going to introduce the players to that."
Harden, 48, hopes to have his son Joe, a former Lexington high school basketball player, start Williamstown's weight-training program. Joe, who is studying to be an occupational therapist, is a mixed martial arts athlete and is involved in strength and conditioning.
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com